The larger issues for this football team have been laid out ad nauseam. They start at the top and they won't be resolved until Texas football decides to value performance and championships over revenue and comfort for scared bureaucrats.
KSU's D basically consented to letting us throw the ball underneath while throttling our running game, removing Mike Davis from the game plan by preventing the only deep throw McCoy can make, and suffered most from big plays by Daje Johnson and DJ Monroe (2 plays on the edge accounted for 116 Longhorn yards) while holding the rest of the Longhorn offense down between the 20s.
Case McCoy certainly played his hardest, which I appreciate. Unfortunately, Case is so physically limited, and his inability to recognize those limitations, prevent him from being a legitimate long term option at QB for Texas. The "best back-up in college football talk" is delusional.
26 of 34 for 314, 2 TDs, 2 INTs seems promising, but once you remove his forward hand-off to Daje Johnson for 70 yards and consider that both of his interceptions essentially gifted KSU 14 points, it's tough to call it an elevating performance. Although he showed much better pocket discipline, 3 of KSU's 4 sacks were attributable to him holding on to the ball too long and a general lack of strength/athleticism in the pocket. He also had a costly grounding penalty that cost Texas a possession. There are ways to overcome McCoy at QB, but they require McCoy to play mistake-free.
On the bright side, once again, Case showed a solid ability to throw over the short and intermediate middle with accuracy and anticipation. He's always understood how to read coverages and where to attack the defense and Harsin did a nice job of creating some Case-friendly throws underneath and inside KSU's pass defense.
Outside of the hash, he's still a disaster, usually compounded by poor mechanics.
Welcome back, Malcolm Brown (83 total yards). I thought he ran OK, but gained mostly what the play was blocked for. Gray struggled for his second straight week (12-29), mostly because KSU's interior DL wouldn't allow a push and Arthur Brown is pretty damn good.
Our TE's were a problem in this game, consistently allowing their guy to control the edge.
The short/screen game was very good to us, with our backs accounting for 15 catches for 174 yards. About 60% of our passing game went through the RB. Texas had zero ability to threaten KSU downfield with McCoy at QB and KSU playing a fair amount of off coverage.
The box score says the OL surrendered 4 sacks, but they actually protected very well on the vast majority of passing plays. And our TEs and FBs didn't cover themselves in glory picking up the blitz or helping on DEs. Additionally, McCoy doesn't do a lot to help his guys set up blockers in roll out situations.
Mike Davis was AWOL, by KSU's design and Case McCoy's limitations. Shipley had some nifty catches and throws over the intermediate middle and it was great to see Cayleb Jones get some play.
Our OCs called a reasonable game within the constraints imposed by KSU's defense and McCoy at QB. They used our backs well in the passing game, Daje and DJ combined for a much-needed 10 touches, and the Longhorns were able to move the ball in stretches. This was a game plan that could have worked in combination with flawless, error- free football (and maybe a QB that could be used in the running game), but unfortunately, costly turnovers wrecked the team effort.
This was a depleted KSU, mostly because Collin Klein is still playing at about 70% of his abilities, hamstrung by a half dozen different injuries that prevent him from running recklessly or at full speed. KSU wanted to spare Klein of contact in the first half by spreading us out and throwing (and many of Klein's "option" plays were called pitches), which isn't their strength (as the Baylor game attested), but once they committed to letting Klein get hit, they hurt Texas running the ball and setting up Diaz's defense in play action.
For the game, KSU was 8 of 13 on 3rd down and, in the second half, their first three possessions all went for TDs on three drives combining for 19 plays, 197 yards, at 10.4 yards per play. They absolutely whipped Diaz in the adjustment game and rendered the game largely academic by the early 4th quarter.
Texas did run more base defense and limited silly stunt games, but we're so fundamentally poor, once KSU un-fucked itself and resigned to letting Klein carry his normal run game burden, the game was over in three drives. KSU would score TDs on 5 of their last 6 possessions (the last two were short fields courtesy of Quandre's fumble and Case's arm) before their kneel down.
This is a horribleTexas defense, not for lack of base talent, but mostly because we've done so little to develop most of these players at the individual or unit level.
The biggest bright spot was freshman Peter Jinkens. Jinkens really showed well before having to leave with an injury. He's active, fearless, and instinctive. Probably because he has been coached the least of any of our LBs.
We could break down the other players, but it's a fairly useless exercise. K-State destroyed our defense in the play action game with Klein going 8 of 14 for 184 yards and though we can point to the players who were beaten, it's really more about scheme and preparation. Where were those players looking? What did KSU see in our coverages that made those throws so easy once they re-established the running game?
We lost them. As has been the case far too often this year.
Mack Brown is now 2-7 against Kansas State (including a 0-2 record against Ron Prince, who never beat anyone).
For the third year in a row, a Texas football season limps to a close.
4-0 Texas start, 4-4 finish, getting familiar yet?
However, licensing and merchandising sales look good. And we have a network!
So, carry on...